California walnut industry predicts early, good crop

California walnut industry predicts early, good crop

California walnut growers may harvest a 495,000 short ton crop this fall. Crop quality should be good. About 11,000 acres of walnut trees planted this year.

(California Walnut Commission)

The National Agricultural Statistics Service predicts a 2013 California walnut crop of 495,000 short tons; slightly lower than last year’s crop.

“We enjoyed a warm, dry spring which will allow us to harvest up to a week earlier than the 2012 crop,” says California Walnut Commission (CWC) Chairman Donald Norene.

“We are expecting good quality, plentiful walnuts for our customers around the world.”

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Walnut production is on the increase with more than 11,000 new walnut acres planted this year in California, contributing to a crop which has nearly doubled in the last decade. 

“Domestic market development and continued expansion of export markets will be critical to future production gains,” Norene said. “New emerging markets, such as India, will play a vital role in developing the industry’s future consumers.”

Market access for California walnuts was granted to India in July.

“Global demand for walnuts remains at an all-time high because consumer awareness of the versatility and nutritional benefits of walnuts continues to grow,” says Dennis Balint, CWC Chief Executive Officer.

Walnuts are the fourth-leading farm export from California. Balint says the value of walnuts may top $1.5 billion in farm gate revenue.

California walnuts account for more than 99 percent of the commercial U.S. supply and represent about three-quarters of world walnut trade. 

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